What to look for when reading vendor reviews: 5 elements to consider when vetting customer testimonials for your HOA.
As an HOA board, it is your duty to assess vendors before hiring any company to provide services for your community. Whether you’re looking for pool service, a maintenance company, or a landscaper, it’s up to you to determine if the company is both trustworthy and qualified to handle the job.
One of the best ways to vet a company is by reading what its customers had to say about it. Here are five elements to look for when vetting vendor reviews.
Where to find vendor reviews
Before you can assess reviews, you have to find them. First, check out social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter. You can generally find comments on those pages. If the company isn’t on social media, there are other sites you can try, including Yelp, Google, Better Business Bureau, and Angie’s List.
5 elements to consider in customer reviews
There are five areas the focus on when assessing reviews. These comments can help you determine if a vendor is a right choice for your community.
1. Would the customer hire the vendor again?
This is one of the most important factors. If a customer says they would work with the company again, it’s a good sign. Some sites will even provide a rating, “X% would hire again,” along with a summary of the overall performance.
- “I would absolutely hire XYZ again.”
- “Great service. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with ABC in the future.”
2. Are there details about the project or service?
A generic review that says, “they did a good job” sounds nice on the surface, but it doesn’t tell you much about the company or its employees. It also doesn’t let you know if the company is capable of handling the job you need to be performed.
Look for reviews with in-depth feedback that include details about the work performed. Look for information about the challenges that were faced or how the company took steps to solve problems.
3. Is there information about responsiveness and professionalism?
You want a vendor that responds quickly to communications and requests. The last thing you want is a vendor who takes days to reply to emails or phone calls. You also don’t want a vendor who acts in an unprofessional manner toward you or other residents.
- “They always responded right away.”
- “They were so easy to work with.”
- “They were so professional and polite.”
4. Did the provider show up on time?
We’ve all heard complaints about service providers who show up late … or not at all. Timeliness is essential, especially if the vendor will be providing emergency services. Being able to trust that a vendor will show up right away in urgent situations will ease your mind.
- “The staff is friendly, responsive, and cares about the quality of their work.”
- “They always show up on time and answer my calls right away.”
5. Did the vendor follow through on its promises?
You expect a vendor to follow through on promises laid out in the contract. If they go above and beyond, it’s even better. Look for feedback that expresses satisfaction about the services rendered. Comments about failing to deliver services are a big red flag.
- “We called them for a …. emergency and they showed up right away.”
- “They took care of the problem faster than I expected.”
- “I never have to worry about work getting done.”
- “Went above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction.”
The key to reading reviews
Customer reviews represent your great, objective resource to determine if a vendor is right for the job. Pay attention and they will tell you a lot about the company, their reputation, and the customer experience they provide.
If you need help vetting and hiring vendors for your HOA, VendorSmart is here. We also offer a number of other services, including risk management and compliance management. Contact us to get started.